Historic Plymouth Rock Defaced With Spray Paint
One of America’s most revered and important landmarks has been defaced by vandals. Plymouth Rock was spray-painted with graffiti by so far unknown perpetrators. The monument was badly defaced, and a search is underway to apprehend those who were involved in the incident, which has shocked the local community and the wider public.
Plymouth Rock is the site where the Mayflower Pilgrims disembarked from their ships in November 1620, although there are many who suspect that the rock was not the place the Pilgrims, religious refugees from England, first stepped when they reached the shores of America. However, they went on to establish the Plymouth Colony which is often seen as the settlement that played a critical role in the development of the United States. These colonists also are famous for celebrating the ‘First Thanksgiving’ in 1621.
Mayflower Pilgrims and Plymouth Rock
Today, the rock is behind a Roman Doric portico, to allow visitors to view the rock on the seafront in Plymouth MA. The year 1620 was chiseled onto the stone in the 18 th century and parts of it are to be found elsewhere in America. Because of its history, the rock is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state.
At sometime on the night of the 10 th of February 2020, unknown intruders entered the Pilgrim Memorial Park which is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. They somehow managed to enter the small enclosed area where the rock is on public display, and then the vandals spray-painted the rock until much of it was covered with red paint. There are what seem to be words and numbers graffitied onto the rock, but they are difficult to decipher for certain.
A statue and other monuments were also sprayed. (Image: Turn to 10 )
Images of vandalism
‘A statue and a bench were also tagged’ according to reports in Turn to 10 . Images of the vandalism have been shared by angry local residents over various social media platforms. Mashviral reports that they also show ‘a large clamshell painted with a photo of the harbor and Mayflower tagged with red graffiti’.
The historic rock was not the only target of the vandals. The National Monument to the Forefathers on Allerton Street, which is not far from the rock in Plymouth, is still covered in graffiti. Some of the graffiti on this important monument are profanities.
This is not the first time that the revered rock has been defaced by vandals. The rock was graffitied in 2014. During this incident, the stone was spray-painted with the word ‘Lies’. The rock has always been controversial. Twice in the past, Native American rights activists have ritually buried the rock, because they believed that it was a symbol of the destruction of their people and way of life.
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Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts , the traditional site of disembarkation of William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony in 1620. At the left of the rock can be seen where it was split in two in 1774, with the top part relocated to the town's meetinghouse. The two parts were later rejoined in 1880, at which time the date 1620 was inscribed into the rock. ( jjron / GFDL 1.2 )
400th year anniversary
Mashviral reports that ‘The city of Plymouth is commemorating the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock this year’. The municipality is planning to celebrate the arrival of the Mayflower on American shores with great pageantry and naturally, the Rock will be central to the events. It is not currently known ‘if the vandalism was connected to the commemoration’ reports Turn to Ten .
There has been some good news reported with regard to the Rock and it seems that the damage is not permanent. Julianne Lima a journalist with Boston 25 reported on her Twitter feed that the ‘Dept. of Conservation and Recreation crews are power washing Plymouth Rock’. They are using a special solution which includes some paint remover. The department responsible for the Rock believes that they have already washed off most of the graffiti and the rest will be removed shortly. The local police have been made aware of the incident and they are investigating.
Top image: Plymouth Rock covered in graffiti. Source: WCVB Viewer
By Ed Whelan